Ethics commission finds ‘no evidence’ against tea party
by Joshua Sharpe
May 03, 2013 11:12 PM | 1723 views | 2 2 comments | 7 7 recommendations | email to a friend | print
CANTON — The state ethics commission has released its final findings in complaints made against a local tea party group by a former Cherokee County commissioner.

The Georgia Government Transparency and Campaign Finance Commission issued a compliance order this week to Conrad Quagliaroli of the Cherokee Tea Party Patriots stating that based on testimony it heard in the case, “no evidence” existed that his group had violated campaigning laws, according to a copy of the order provided by Quagliaroli.

Former county Commissioner Karen Bosch filed a complaint with the ethics commission in June 2012 alleging that Quagliaroli’s group had been collecting money and using it to sway voters in an upcoming TSPLOST vote, although the group wasn’t registered with the state for such campaigning purposes.

Bosch complained that a flyer Quagliaroli had passed out, which asked the reader to vote “no” on the upcoming TSPLOST, made his group in violation of state ethics laws.

The flier stated the mission statement of the Cherokee Tea Party Patriots, the ethics commission’s order states.

But the ethics commission found after a hearing April 24, in which Quagliaroli testified, that since “he used his own funds and distributed the fliers ... without connection with the Cherokee Tea Party Patriots,” no law was broken, according to the document.

In the order, the commission went on to say that in the future, should Quagliaroli distribute any more similar fliers that they should not “appear on their face that they are in fact an expenditure or an in-kind expenditure for the Cherokee Tea Party Patriots” or he will be in violation.

Quagliaroli said Friday that the commission’s ruling was “a victory for ordinary citizens and a defeat for sleazy left-wing tactics.”

“This is a victory,” he went on, “because the commission found that a citizen acting as an individual, spending their own money, is merely exercising their First Amendment right and not violating any ethics laws.”

A similar complaint, also made by Bosch against the Canton Tea Party and Canton Tea Party Chair Carolyn Cosby was sent by the ethics commission to the state Attorney General’s Office for review.
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Bill McNiff
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May 07, 2013
I don't see this as a victory. This is a frightening example of how can an official of the gov't-Bosch, trys to use the weight of the government to try to stifle the free speech of a grassroots organization. I beleive the so called ethics commission has no ethics and they certainly violated their oath to unhold the Constitution.
bug fuzz
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May 04, 2013
THIS IS A WONDERFUL ILLUSTRATION THAT "FREEDOM OF SPEECH" IS ALIVE AND WELL IN CHEROKEE COUNTY AND THE STATE OF GEORGIA. WHEN WILL THE MISGUIDED ETHICS COMMISSION INVESTIGATE FORMER COMMISSIONER BOSCH AND HER FORMER SPOUSE FOR POSSIBLE CAMPAIGN FINANCE VIOLATIONS THAT HAVE BEEN REPORTED ON IN THE TRIBUNE? OR IS THIS BETTER ACCOMPLISHED BY A GRAND JURY? FORMER COMMISSIONER BOSCH HAS ALWAYS BEEN CHARACTERIZED AS A "DRAMA QUEEN", EVEN SINCE HER LONG AGO DAYS ON THE ZONING COMMISSION. HOW ABOUT IT FORMER COMMISSIONER BOSCH. WOULDN'T A GRAND JURY APPEARANCE BE THE CENTER STAGE VENUE YOU HAVE LONGED FOR THESE MANY YEARS?
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